Friday, July 30, 2010

Three Hollywood Celebrities I Consider My Muse

I am a celebrity fashion addict. I love to watch red carpet events before every major award show, I watch Fashion Police on E! the following night, I read, and, as I’ve stated before, I subscribe to four major fashion magazines. I can’t get enough! I love to see the newest trends, the luxe labels, the amazing shoes; all of which helps me when shopping or putting together outfits.

My all time favorite is Jennifer Aniston. She has such a classic style. I love how she throws on a pair of dark jeans, a white t-shirt, a Pashmina scarf, classic heels and still looks the girl next door. Her red carpet style is as easy and sophisticated as her everyday look. She is elegant yet edgy, always on trend and oozes confidence. Some of my favorites are the red Prada dress she wore at the 2000 Emmy Awards, the Burberry pant suit worn to the He’s Just Not That Into You premier and the blush Donna Karan worn to the premier of The Bounty Hunter. What I love about her, is that she appears to be the kind of woman who could sit down with you, share a bottle of wine and talk about everything under the sun. I’m pretty sure we could be best friends!

I love Sarah Jessica Parker. For red carpet appearance, she’s not afraid to try anything and everything! I could never pull any of it off, but she does and with amazing self-assurance. She makes you stop and take note of amazing details, of which I consider works of art. For instance, the pink Chanel gown she wore to the 2003 Emmy’s. The dress looked as though it were made of spun, pink sugar. The Dior Couture gown she wore to the 2009 Oscars, though ill fitted, had an art-deco feel to the bodice that traveled past the waist line. Even the Alexander McQueen dress and Philip Treacy hat she wore to the Sex and the City movie premier had everyone taking note. Her everyday style is so New York chic. More often than not she’s seen in jeans, great jackets, scarves, boots, and always with a great handbag. I would love to raid her wardrobe when, and if, she ever cleans out her closet!

Anne Hathaway is stunning! Her natural beauty radiates and I adore her sense of style. She’s effortless chic, something I strive for, yet glamorous when needed. Her everyday style runs the gamut. She sports dresses, skirts, jeans, sweaters, blazers, you name it. Her makeup and jewelry is always modest and fits her style perfectly. Her red carpet appearances are amazing. The white, Grecian Azarro dress she wore to the 2009 SAG awards was gorgeous. The Atelier Versace gown she wore to the 2008 Venice Film Festival was another work of art. And I love the Oscar de la Rent cocktail dress she wore to the 2009 Tony Awards. I can’t wait to she what she will wear to the next red carpet event.

There are so many new fashionistas on the rise. Blake Lively, Rachel Bilson, Ashley Greene, Vanessa Hudgens and Whitney Port just to name a few. Keep your eye on them. They’re youthful, trendy, a little edgy and taking the red carpet by storm.

Do you draw your inspiration from Hollywood? If so, who would you consider your muse? 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

LA State of Mind

I don’t know if it was the day or the outfit, but on this particular day I felt like I could hang among the Hollywood elite! For starters, lunch at The Ivy, followed by shopping on Robertson Boulevard, then a stroll down Via Rodeo and finally, drinks at Château Marmont. In actuality, I spent the day behind a desk and had a ten minute pasta for dinner before heading out to see a Community Theater production of Beauty and the Beast. Would you wear this for a day in LA?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What if my sneakers were suddenly strappy sandals?

OK, not really. But, as I was cleaning out my closet, a quarterly event in my house, I had this idea about clothes transforming into other types of clothing. See, I ran across a skirt that was purchased on a trip to Southern California in 2009. This said skirt has never been worn and I was just about to toss it when it I gave it a double take, the “What if?” look. I’m sure you know what I mean. It’s what happens when you examine the contents of your closet and see something as one thing but then realize it could be used as another. That’s what happened on this particular day. 

It’s a simple black skirt, long in length and light in fabric, and it was on its way out the door. But suddenly, in the blink of any eye, it transformed itself—what if I wore it strapless, belted it at the waist to reduce the bulk, and paired it with tough thongs for an evening of drinks on the patio? What if I wore the same said skirt as an actual skirt, but with a form-fitted V-neck tee, the same tough thongs, and turquoise jewelry for a Bohemian feel that would make even Mary Kate Olsen take note? I also really liked it as a dress, worn alone with no belt, flowing freely in the evening breeze.

Another example of transforming one piece of clothing into something else is a striped dress I bought several summers ago that’s a tad too short but oh-so-comfy. It looks great for a girl’s night with strappy sandals and modest jewelry. Why should a cotton dress only be worn for evenings out? Tucked into my favorite pair of boyfriend jeans, and paired with Gladiators, this dress is now a comfy, cotton tank top. It can also be paired with dark jeans and cute summer shoes for casual Fridays at work. Dress it up or down with shoes and accessories. You’ve now taken that dress and turned it into three separate looks.

What do you have in your closet that can be worn differently than it was intended? See how much fun fashion can be? Try this with your own wardrobe. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Congrats on your nomination! 

Tricia, reader

i for style nominated for a blogger award

I am so thankful to Ivy Dandurand for nominating me for the fun and fashion forward award! I for style is a little over two months old so to receive this is such a big surprise! If you haven’t read Ivy’s blog, you should! It’s a sweet read, vintage in style and heart warming! Ivy, thank you for the nomination!

There are three steps I must follow with this nomination.

1. Thank the person who nominated you. Thanks again, Ivy!

2. Share seven things about yourself.

I. Almost everyone knows this, but I’m an only child and love it! I never wanted siblings and still don’t!

II. I love shoes. I’ve never taken the time to count how many I have and don’t plan to. No one needs to know.

III. I love the holidays! Any of them! I have decorations for almost every holiday, but I decorate the most for Halloween and Christmas.

IV. Speaking of Christmas, I have a tree for every room of the house, including the bathroom!

V. I want to visit every baseball stadium in the country before I die. I’m not doing very well, but I’m trying. I’m up to seven.

VI. I’m afraid to stay in my house alone. When Joel goes out of town, I pack my bags and stay with my parents.

VII. I want to be the next Rachel Zoe!

3. Nominate new blog winners and let them know.

My awards go to:

Emily Benson at clearly surely honestly for the Most Eccentric blog.

Danae DeShazer at simplecasual for the Most Fashion Creative blog. 

What I Love Right Now

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love to shop! Not only do I shop in person, but I love to browse the internet and scour my fashion mags. I’m always on the look out for “must have” pieces whether inspired by trends or just things that capture my eye. (At times I like to think I’m a trend setter.) However, I’m leery of certain on trend items: clogs, jeggings, high heeled, rugged boots and oxfords. There are times when I change my mind and become obsessed with something I was once opposed purchasing. Here are the of the moment things I love.

I can not get enough of my boyfriend jeans. As you can see from past posts and photos, I wear them all the time! The comfort alone is reason enough to invest in them and they aren’t going anywhere as far as the trend is concern. I’m pairing them with cute tanks, tunics, cardigans and blouses. If you haven’t made the investment, run out and get a pair.  You won’t be sorry!

I wasn’t sure how I felt about the oxford shoe I see cropping up all over, but I quickly changed my mind. I’m loving my dove gray, woven oxfords that I purchased just a few weeks ago. I’ve worn them everywhere! Again, I paired them with my boyfriend jeans, a pair of boot cut jeans and I’m planning to pair them with an adorable gray dress I just purchased for transition from summer to fall. Speaking of fall, I also purchased a cute pair of leather oxfords and I can’t wait to wear them!

My new BCBGenerations handbag is awesome! Purchased from Rue La La, this handbag is going to take me straight into fall. The bag is a slouchy hobo, in Cognac brown, falls so easily off the shoulder and the leather is amazing. Keeper! 

What are some of your must haves or of the moment pieces? Is there is anything you were opposed to and now can’t live without?  I would love to hear all about them!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Coach Contest

Whatiwore is a blog I follow where the author posts daily photos of ensembles she creates. Jessica, the brains behind this blog, is holding a contest: create a set on Polyvore using two items from Here’s my submission:

PunkFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore
Punk by Andrea Lawson Krasnow featuring Coach

What do you think about the outfit I put together? Would you wear it?

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Modern Man and His Wardrobe

Recently, I have received some feedback related to my “If I Were a Man, This is What I Would Wear” post, so I thought I would elaborate on that post and look at men’s fashion from the metrosexual, or Modern Man, perspective. My original post was intended for the All-American Male. You know him, the guy that dresses in traditional clothing, nothing too trendy. This post will be directed to all of you men who, like women, dress a little more modern, like to stay on trend and refuse to wear your ’80s acid-washed jeans.

A Suit

The classic take on a men’s suit is a navy, two-button suit. For the trendier male, try a sleek, black suit with a one-button jacket. The look is very mainstream, tailored, and chic. A modern suit is not limited to the basic white-and-blue button-down and tie, but it’s so stylish nonetheless. Pair it with a darker blue shirt and trendy tie or a button-down, V-neck sweater and tie. It will keep the suit cycling through your closet.  When hemming the suit pant, keep in mind the length and break of the leg. I like a full break, which is hemmed to reach the top of the shoes’ hells, with the front of the hem “breaking” naturally over the shoes.

Dress Shirts

Though the classic white-and-blue shirt should be a staple in your wardrobe, try adding a French cuff button-down to your wardrobe. The French cuff adds pizzazz to any wardrobe because the cuff links shimmer from under the suit coat sleeve. A French cuff shirt will look great paired with sweaters or alone with jeans or dress pants. Invest in dark-colored shirts as well. Shirts in black, slate gray, royal purple, or stripes will add an extra punch to suits, dress pants, and jeans. The Modern Man isn’t afraid to wear color and go bold with detail.


Like suiting, the Modern Man looks great in a navy blazer; but, for summer, try sporting a twill khaki blazer. It’s light-weight and a neutral color, and looks nice with a white or colored t-shirt or a button-down. Both styles work with jeans. Be cautious when wearing the khaki blazer with dress pants. The color is too light for khaki trousers, but if you invest in a khaki summer suit, you have two pieces that will work together or separately.

Dress Pants

Dress pants for the Modern Man are not much different than those for the traditional man. All men should wear flat front; wool and cotton alike. There is less material to work with when wearing sweaters and blazers and look a little more polished when tucking in shirts. Again, you can find them un-hemmed and if you chose to go this route, refer to the break rule mentioned in suits above. 


I still like the look of straight and relaxed jeans, but for the Modern Man, try wearing a boot-cut jean that falls nicely over shoes. Keep the denim dark. There are several different washes. Medium wash is one my husband prefers, since I won’t let him wear faded, but he owns a pair of dark as well. The antique, vintage wash is a combination of the medium and dark. Pair these jeans with fun button-downs in designs such as paisley, stripes, spirals, or ones with contrasting cuffs. These cuffs are a different color or design than the actual shirt and look great rolled up over the wrist.

Casual Shirts

I still maintain that casual shirts do not mean the old tried-and-true college t-shirt from your past. Casual shirts mean polos and wide plaids. Wear a fitted, plaid button-down with sleeves rolled to the elbow. The look is cool and relaxed and goes great paired with jeans, khakis, and shorts. Most major retailers carry a wide variety of polo shirts. They come fitted, loose, plain, striped, in 100% cotton, or cotton-stretch blends. The style and fit are up to you.

A note about screen-print t-shirts: The cute retro branded t-shirts that are all the rage are great for the gym, errands, a night at our local Theater in the Park, or lounging around the house. When going on a date or meeting for drinks with friends or dinner, leave your “I’m a Pepper” shirt at home. Instead, sport the trendier graphic tee that you see at retailers like Banana Republic, J.Crew, and Nordstrom. These will look great under your khaki summer blazer or this corduroy version that is perfect for fall. Another great look is the graphic tee paired with a utilitarian jacket for cooler evening temperatures in the Upper East and West coasts. Pair with shorts, jeans, or khakis.


I’m a sucker for a man in a great sweater. I love the look of the new “grandfather” button-down cardigan, white tee, and jeans. Pair this with a high shine slip-on or leather oxford shoe. I also love the look of dress pants, white button-down, striped tie, and solid V-neck pullover sweater. This also looks great with jeans. Invest in solids, V-necks, sweater vests, or the button-down cardigan. There are so many ways to wear them while creating that ever-revolving closet that looks like you never repeat!


The Modern Man is a risk taker when it comes to shoes. Pointy toes, square toes, topstitching, lace-up, ankle-high, and tennis-inspired are just a few styles that you may have added, or want to add, to your collection. Look at designers such as Steve Madden, Cole Haan, and Kenneth Cole.

I hope I helped paint a new picture of how the Modern Man should dress. Am I missing anything? Your readership means a lot to me, so keep coming back for more and let me know what else you’d like to read about!

Friday, July 16, 2010


The white is very slimming.  I wouldn’t have guessed that to be the case.  I love learning new ideas from you. - Tricia

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hippie Chic

The 1970s

I feel a deep tie to the ’70s. Maybe it’s because I was born in the early ’70s, or maybe I just love everything about it. I love the clothes, the music, the politics, and the ever-present need for peace. The only problem I find is that dressing for this particular era can have the costume effect I’ve mentioned earlier. I have to rein myself in and only use one or two pieces to create the “Hippie Chic” look. I love my Seven for All Man Kind bell bottom jeans. They are a thin, light wash denim with just enough flare that they don’t exceed the 2010 flare standard. For a night at the movies, I paired mine with brown, strappy platforms, a cream, crew-neck sleeveless top, and my version of a psychedelic floral scarf. To top if off, I wore brown wooden earrings and a matching bangle.

Tie dye pieces are also great, but you never want the “I did it myself” look. I love the new tie dye tees from Ann Taylor Loft. You get the look of the ’70s, but with a modern, off-the-shoulder look. I recently paired mine with my faded boyfriend jeans and funky print wedges from Target. I loved the mixed patterns within the ensemble and felt a little ’70s-chic.

While running errands over the weekend, I wanted something comfy, airy, and loose to help combat the heat. I reached for my new linen jumpsuit and immediately felt the need for a convertible Volkswagen Super Beatle with groovy tunes blaring from the radio. The crocheted brown belt had traces of macramé, but pairing it with bronze leather flip flops kept it modern. I also love the look of the layered, multi-tonal necklace that is so on trend. Paired with the simple gold disc earrings, the whole ensemble felt hip and chic, and not at all costumey.

There are so many little things you can do to pull a look together and get that vintage feel without looking like a walking billboard. Try adding a scarf to your hair instead of a plastic headband. Junky, turquoise jewelry is also reminiscent of the ’70s. Whatever the era, find those little pieces that make it pop—but don’t go overboard. A little goes along way, baby!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Shopping advice

Will you please do a blog about where you shop locally?  I’d love that!

Tricia, reader

A Modern Twist on the '50s

The 1950s

As I continue to explore different eras of fashion, I turn my attention to the 1950s. Considered a simpler time for America, the fashion was anything but! Full skirts with crinolines, sweater sets encrusted with jewels or held in place with elaborate sweater clips, and ball gowns made with volumes of tulle or taffeta frequented the social scene. We were later introduced to a more sleek style when Audrey Hepburn sported cigarette capris, ballet-neck tops, and, though I love my high heels, her ballet flats collection became quite the trend.

The most modern twist on ’50s fashion was never more apparent than with Charlotte York-Goldenblatt on Sex and the City. Her character epitomized the look while embellishing it with modern jewels, shoes, and bags. I too love the look of the ’50s. For a wedding shower I attended this summer, I wanted to look feminine, wear something cool for the summer heat, and incorporate a look that read “Ladies Who Lunch”—even though it was a couples’ shower. This dress, with its halter and sweetheart neckline, was a perfect choice. The ruched bodice helped create a thin waist, while the full skirt was very reminiscent of the poodle skirt. It came complete with a cotton crinoline in a contrasting color. Paired with yellow patent leather pumps and sterling silver jewels with Lucite, I felt I was channeling Charlotte and all our ’50s predecessors.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Inspired by the 40s

Ever put on that cute little outfit only to take a look in the mirror and see nothing but a costume? My style is often inspired by the ’40s, ’50s, and ’70s. I love how each era shows an evolution of style while still paying homage to the decade before. I’ve been working with more modern pieces to add to these iconic styles to achieve more of a glimpse back in time. But there are times when I’m trying to recreate one of these eras with my ensemble, only to wind up looking like I’m ready to attend a Halloween costume party. Regardless, here’s my latest spin on each decade.

The 1940s

We can easily take a stroll through the ’40s just by scouring the racks of any major retailer today! We’ve brought back the romper and jumpsuit, and I’m so glad we have! The comfort is amazing and I love how easily they hide my physical flaws I’m trying to work out at the gym. Just recently, I sported a romper on a trip to the zoo. Light and airy, roomy and comfortable; I found myself  gliding through the summer heat wit hease. Paired with a neutral pair of brown gladiator sandals, that four-hour jaunt was the perfect afternoon. A bold, floral-print jumpsuit provided great comfort while out and about in Vegas recently. I paired it with my patent leather Jimmy Choos and hammer silver jewels for a put-together-yet-effortless look.

I have to say, I’ve never felt so much like the ’40s than when I slipped on my Anthropologie pantsuit. I added my own modern twist by jazzing it up with silver woven leather pumps, multi strands of pearls and Lucite, a wrist full of fresh water pearl bracelets and fun, white Mod sunglasses. I even went so far as to add the iconic, full-on red lips! Other ’40s-inspired pieces are pencil skirts, fitted blouses and skirts, and a resurgence of the pump. Hallelujah!

There are little things you can do to create a 40s look and obtain that vintage feel without looking like a walking billboard. Try high-waisted jeans or pants with a loose fitted blouse tucked in. Again, this creates that hour glass look. Add accessories to your hairstyle. There are a plethora of headbands available with sequined flowers, feathers and crystals. Bakelite and Lucite jewelry was very popular, much like it is today. Remember, the 40s was a time of empowerment for women. Empower yourself to try a new look.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Eyes Have It: A How-To

After my post on makeup, called “The Eyes Have It,” I was asked if I could write a how-to guide for makeup application. So, I have compiled a step-by-step outline of the classic and smoky eyes, but first, here’s a run-down of the tools you’ll need to help you create these easy looks. 

Tools: Just like a painter, you must invest in brushes. Those little sponges that come with eye shadows just won’t cut it. To get you started, and without paying a pretty penny, Sonia Kashuk for Target carries a wide variety. The six-piece wood set offers brushes for lipstick, concealer, crease, eyeshadow, blush, and powder. I’m not a fan of sets—I like to purchase individual brushes—but this is great and economical way to get started. If you choose to buy individually rather than purchasing a set, your must-haves are brushes for concealer, crease, eyeshadow, a flat for brow bone area, an eyeliner brush, a blush and an all over powder. As you work with brushes and try different techniques, start adding a few more to the collection.

If you decide not to invest in brushes, at least spend the money on an eyelash curler. I never used one until about a year ago and what a difference this little guy makes! My eyelashes are long but flat so even with coats of mascara I never had much definition. I have tried the curled mascara wands to provide lift and those just didn’t work either. An eyelash curler takes your lashes to a new place. They actually widen the look of your eye. If you are one for mascara, blush, and lipgloss only, I promise you this curler is something to add to your routine. It will add just that little extra oomph to your overall look.

Makeup: A cosmetologist can try and convince you that you need to purchase a million different products to get the look they created for you, but that’s really not the case. When I go for a makeover, I generally walk away with about five things that I truly think I will use after I leave the store. Sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the collection. The items you need, let’s call these essentials, are minimal. My essentials are a great foundation or tinted moisturizer, concealer, an all-over lid primer, a group of shadows, eyeliner, mascara, and blush. I’m not a huge fan of powder. I feel it makes one look cakey and can settle into the small creases of the face. Never a good thing when you are trying to reduce the look of fine lines! However, MAC has a product called Set Powder. It is made up of looser powders that stabilize and fix the makeup. The finish is very sheer which will make your face feel less heavy.

Application: The classic eye is very easy to achieve and takes only two shades. There are times where I use a set of shadows, called pink chocolates, to create this look. I will provide the how-to steps for both.

Classic Eye Two Shadows:

  1. Apply with brush the MAC Paints in Untitled over entire eyelid.

  2. Apply with eyeshadow brush the MAC Satin Finish Eye Shadow in Shroom should be over entire eyelid.

  3. Apply with crease brush the MAC Matte Eye Shadow in Espresso to just the crease of the lid. Make sure you apply all across the crease, not just from the outer corner to the middle of the eye. This will break up the line and effect you are trying to create. Blend well.

  4. Apply with eyeliner brush the MAC Matte Eye Shadow in Carbon along the lash line of the upper eyelid. I do not line the lower lash line but if you feel the need, use a very small amount of the Carbon shadow. If you are not sure about using a eyeliner brush, I recommend using a pencil for the lower lash line until you feel more comfortable. Or, use a couple of different products: the liners by Clinique go on smoother than most and have a velvety feel. Their Black Diamond should provide the same look as the MAC shadow version. I also like the Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Black. Like the Clinique pencil, this goes on smooth and provides a creamier look than that of the Carbon shadow.

  5. After using your new eyelash curler, apply two coats of your favorite mascara. My favorite of the moment, well over the past year or so, is the Clinique High Definition Lashes Brush Then Comb mascara in Black. This product received the Elle Genius Award in 2008 and I have to agree. Use the brush side to apply the mascara and the comb to even out any clumps that were created. It helps define your strands more than just the average wand. Again, I rarely apply mascara to my bottom lashes. I heard an expert say that they don’t recommend either because it can start create a raccoon effect as it flacks off through out the day. After applying the top lashes, you will actually apply mascara to your lower lashes as you blink. That’s all you need!

You now have the perfect Classic Eye! If you are interested in adding a little depth to your Classic Eye, try the Pink Chocolate quad from Clinique.

  1. Apply with brush the MAC Paints in Untitled over entire eyelid.

  2. Apply the Rose Pink with a small eyeshadow brush to just the bottom lid of your eye.

  3. Apply the Warm Midtone Raisin to the crease of your lid with the crease brush. Again, apply all across the crease, not just from the outer corner to the middle of the eye.

  4. Apply the Dark Chocolate to the outer corner of the eye using the tip of the crease brush. Make sure you blend well but do not take into the center of your crease.

  5. Apply the Pale Pink with the flat brush to the brow bone just under the eyebrow.

Steps six and seven are the same as five and six for liner and mascara.

And now here are the steps for creating the smoky eye:

Smoky Eye using the Chanel Smoky Eye Quad:

  1. Apply with brush the MAC Paints in Untitled over entire eyelid

  2. Apply with eyeshadow brush the Slate Gray shadow to the lower lid.

  3. Apply with flat brush the Pale Gray to the brow bone just under the eyebrow.

  4. Apply with flat brush the Light Gray over the Pale Gray at the brown bone.

  5. Apply with crease brush the Dark Blue to just the crease of the lid. Make sure you apply all the way across the crease, not just from the outer corner to the middle of the eye. This will break up the line and effect you are trying to create. Blend well.

  6. Apply with eyeliner brush the Dark Blue shadow along the lash line of the upper eyelid. In this case, I do line the lower lash line, but do it finely. Do so with the Dark Blue shadow keeping very close to the lash line. I tend to blow of the access shadow before I apply.

  7. Apply with eyeliner brush the MAC Carbon shadow over the Dark Blue to re-enforce the lash line. Do not use the black on the lower lashes.

  8. After using your new eyelash curler, apply two coats of your favorite mascara. Again, in this case, I use mascara on my lower lashes sparingly. Try dotting the wand along the lashes instead of stroking.

You now have a modified version of the Smoky Eye. You can intensify the colors by adding a little more shadow than you would for daytime or by dabbing your brush in a tiny bit of water. Adding water to your shadows will intensify the look, but do not add water directly to the color. This will allow bacteria to grow. Instead, dab your brushes in water first and wipe off access water before applying to shadows.

To finish your looks, keep your cheeks very neutral. I like MAC Powder Blush in Blushbaby and Clinique Blushing Blush Powder Blush in Cupid. Keep your lips neutral as well especially, when wearing the Smoky Eye. I love the look of MAC Lustre Lipstick in Lovin’ It with their Tinted Lipglass in Young Thing dabbed over. It creates the perfect pout! If you want a little more color, use Clinique’s new Vitamin C Lip Smoothie Antioxidant Lip Colour in Absolute Acai. It’s a nice berry without adding too much color.

There are so many things you can do with shadows but this will get you started. Again, investing in the right tools is your first step. If you can’t afford the brands I mentioned, take those colors and look for something in your local drugstore. Most drugstore lines are actually a subsidiary of the ones you find in department stores. You don’t have to spend a lot to get the same effect. Play around. That’s how you become comfortable with broadening your canvas. I’m here to help as well. Post any questions you might have! 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Great blog.  I find all your thoughts to be of great value and useful for all. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Learning to Dress Yourself

Sometimes, we women have difficulty dressing for our body types. The answer to this is that it’s all about proportion. What might look good on your leggy, 5’10” friend is not going to look the same on a 5’3” frame. Same thing in reverse—tall women are not going to look good in petites. Being featured in a magazine or your favorite store’s window display, or it has a great sale price associated to it doesn’t mean you should buy that piece of clothing and wear it. Instead, take a look at your body. Use that full length mirror you’ve now hung inside your closet and look at your body’s proportions. Until you know what your body actually looks like, you are never going to know how to dress it. We come in different shapes and sizes and looking in that mirror will help you determine what part of your body tends to carry more weight than others.

I distribute weight evenly throughout my body. I think of myself as having an hour glass figure, but with some slight differences. My shoulders are about the same width as my hips, I have a small waist and I have fuller legs. However, I don’t have the stereotypical heavy bust line. Because of all of this, I have learned how to dress accordingly. I finally figured out what looks good on my body shape and how to hide imperfections. Wrap dresses work really well because they skim across my mid-section and hips but cinch in at the waist drawing the eye away from the lower half of my body. I wear straight leg jeans that are roomier in the hips and thighs. Very infrequently, I will wear a skinny jean, and I make sure that my top or sweater is long enough to cover my hips and the top parts of the thigh while still keeping the appearance of long legs. Boot cut jeans are great if you are heavier in your lower half. They create a flair which evens out the look of your leg.

My upper body is a little more sculpted, not from years of working out, but from day-to-day upper body activities. In the summer I tend to wear sleeveless tops and dresses but avoid anything with a cap sleeve. Cap sleeves cut you off at the “fattest” part of your arm. (They hit right under the underarm and at the base of your shoulder creating a negative effect on the length of your arm.) If you feel uncomfortable in sleeveless, reach for a short-sleeved version instead. I also love the look of a top with a boat neck or ballet neck. Halter tops are great as well.

Things to avoid with this body type:

  • Straight skirts, as they will cling to your curves not skim.

  • Tops with bold patterns, ruffles, and added details if you are busty. This will only enhance your bust line.

  • Baggy clothes. We need clothes that create shapes. Otherwise, we will look heavier than we really are and that’s what every woman tries to avoid.

If you find that the top half of your body is smaller than your bottom half, you want to try and take the focus off your lower body and move the eye upward. Unlike those of us with curves, you can wear tops with bold prints, ruffles and details to add fullness to your bust line. Scoop and V-neck tops are great as well. Find jackets with puff sleeves to help create volume. Empire waist dresses are perfect for this body type. They create fullness in the bust while skimming over the mid-section and hips, thus creating a nice balance. You also want to find bottoms that are fuller. Go for an A-Line skirt in dark colors such as black or charcoal gray. Pants with a full leg or slight flare will help balance out your hips.  Again, go with darker colors, especially in jeans.

Things to avoid with this body type:

  • Bottoms with side pockets, pleats, and large details.

  • Bottoms made with fabrics that are bold in print and in bright colors. These will only accentuate your hips not slenderize.

  • Jackets that hit lower than the waist. These will hug your hips.

  • Tapered, narrow, and skinny jeans and pants are not for you.

When the top half of your body is larger than the bottom half, the opposite rules apply. You want to play down your bust and mid-section and add volume to the lower body to create proportion. V-necks and scoops are tops that work best and should be in solid, darker colors. It will downplay wide shoulders and draw the eye to your waist. You want to create the illusion of a waist so wrap tops and dresses with an A-Line cut work well too. Jackets with belts help cinch the waist and should fall a little lower than your natural waist. Empire waist dresses work well for this body type as well. Small graphics will work, but try to get a solid color around the bust. One with a tie will create a waist. Your jeans and pants should have a slight flare at the bottom, so go with a boot cut to add volume to your lower half. Also, keep the rise lower than your natural waist. You should have pants and jeans with flap pockets to add shape to your derrière. That’s the only time I hope to say that!

Things to avoid with this body type:

  • Tops that have bold graphics and bright colors, and fits that are baggy. This will only create volume, making you look larger than you are.

  • Steer clear of anything with a high-waist and/or pleats. These clothes will make you appear thicker in the mid-section.

  • For jackets and tops, you don’t want anything that rests on or at the hips. If they graze your hips in length, try a shorter version.

  • Remember to keep the leg of your pants and jeans full. Tapered legs will only make your mid-section thicker.

If you have what the industry refers to as a “boyish” figure, you are probably fairly thin with small hips and a smaller bust line. You want to create the illusion of curves and with that, you need to wear dresses, jackets, and pants that lend themselves to amping up your assets. Tops with ruffles, pleating, details, prints, and gathers will do the trick. Wrap dresses and blouses will cinch the waist creating that hour-glass look. Dresses that are cut on the bias will hug your body and help create curves, as well as A-Line and pencil skirts. Skinny jeans look the best on this body type. Also, if you can find jeans with detailed pockets, these will produce a rounder bum. 

Things to avoid with this body type:

  • Flared leg jeans and cargos

  • Full skirts

  • Sweetheart necklines and baggy tops

  • Sheath dresses and anything with a drop waist

(These items will only enhance the boyish frame and could eliminate a bust line all together.)

If you still have issues defining your frame, rely on stylists and personal shoppers available at some major retailers. Nordstrom, J.Crew, and Ann Taylor Loft all offer these services. Take along a trusty girlfriend for feedback or check out your favorite celebrity. Fashion magazines do spreads on this issue all the time so look for your mag of choice or go online and do some research. Some items that every woman should avoid are the new “Daisy Duke” denim shorts that literally look like bikini underwear and bare midriffs. They are so inappropriate for all body types. Use your full length mirror to your advantage. If you are spilling over, spilling out, or you appear larger in the areas that you are trying to minimize, those would be the items not meant for your body type. If you discover pieces that are right for you, let me know! I would love to hear success stories and see the outfits you put together! Good luck!